Digital signage has steadily become a go-to display medium in advertising and infotainment. So much so that everywhere you turn, be it a restaurant, an airport, or even a school, you will likely see a digital display.
If your business or institution uses digital signage, you will likely find yourself in need of a content management system. So, what is a content management system and what does it do for you?
A content management system (CMS) is a computer software that enables you to control the operation of your digital signage. Take, for instance, that you use digital signage in your restaurant to display menus. If you would like to put up a new menu, you can change all the screens in one go using a content management system.
In essence, a content management system makes it easy to manage your digital display signs from a central point. It is quick, convenient, and makes it possible for one person to manage multiple digital signs without strain. You would also be able to tell if any of your signs are not working as they should and address the problem accordingly.
These advantages have made content management systems highly popular among business owners, advertising companies, and countless other institutions.
What Does a Digital Content Management System Do?
The functions of a CMS can be split into two: content management and diagnostics. Let us expound on each of them a bit more.
Digital content refers to the images or videos that you display on your digital signage. A content management system enables you to control:
- The content – you can upload images or videos of advertisements, movie schedules, flight information, and other types of content to be displayed on your digital signage.
- The sequence of display – you can alternate between videos and images or choose different types of transitions for the content to be displayed in.
- Timing – you can choose when to show particular images or videos. For example, if you have a happy hour menu, you can set it to show at the allocated times.
On diagnostics, a content management system enables you to supervise how your digital display signs are working.
If one of them has malfunctioned or if the entire series of displays is disconnected from power or wifi, you would be able to tell via the CMS.
Some slight diagnostic problems can be corrected by refreshing the digital signs on the CMS but more complex issues may require further technical care.
Applications of Content Management Systems in Digital Signage Solutions
Digital signs are used to display different types of content. A menu, for example, informs customers about the food options that are available at a restaurant.
However, for such information to be effective, it needs to be customized based on the setting.
This is where content management systems come in. They can be applied to customize digital content in different digital display applications for the benefit of the audience. Let us take a look at some of these applications and the role played by the CMS.
Communication displays are used to relay information in public spaces. They are particularly helpful for providing visual communication to people that may have limited language or communication skills.
An example of this would be digital signage in international airports. International passengers speak different languages while others may be deaf and unable to perceive audio announcements.
Digital signage can be programmed via a content management system to display messages in different languages or using illustrations.
A CMS is also quite valuable in such a setting because information needs to be regularly updated.
It would be chaotic and impractical for each communication display to be individually updated.
Infotainment involves showcasing videos or images with the aim of relaying important information.
Hospitals, for example, often run infotainment content on digital displays regarding important subjects such as free checkups, vitamins, or hygiene.
A content management system enables you to curate digital infotainment for your target audience.
Prenatal vitamins can be displayed in the maternal care wing while general content like free check-up clinics can run in all waiting rooms. This is only one example but the general idea is applicable in malls, office reception areas, and many more spaces.
Some restaurants prefer to have a flexible menu to keep things interesting for customers.
In such a case, you would need to alter your menu to display changes such as the soup or catch of the day. A CMS enables you to do this with ease and even add mouth-watering meal graphics that would entice customers.
Timing can equally be an essential component of menu boards. You can program your CMS to switch from breakfast to lunch and dinner menus at designated times.
This would save you the headache of having to remember to manually make the switch each time.
Public Promotion and Advertisements Screens
Public advertisement screens require keen management as they reach a wide audience and are often placed outdoors. A CMS can be applied in managing:
- Content timing- you may wish to capitalize on rush-hour periods when most people are in traffic and can easily notice advertisement screens. This would be a good time to show more advertisement content and have more interactive transitions.
- Display quality- if your digital display screens do not automatically adjust to lighting conditions, you may need to adjust their brightness based on the time of day.
- Network health- it would be a loss of advertising hours if your public advertisement digital display were to go offline when it should be marketing your brand. A CMS would help you catch such mishaps fast.
Interactive and Passive Wayfinding
Huge public spaces such as exhibitions and conference centers can be hard to navigate. Interactive and passive wayfinding display screens come in handy to help people find their way.
An interactive display allows users to enter their destination and get directions to guide them. For this to be possible, the CMS software has to be programmed to give conditional responses based on what the user inquires.
In contrast, the content management of a passive wayfinding display screen is only used to upload a map of the venue. Users can zoom the map to look up certain places but they would not be able to search particular places.
Video walls are large digital displays that are often used in media houses, concerts, churches, and conference halls among other large-audience settings. In each of these applications, video walls are used to display different types of content such as:
- Bible verses
- News video footage
- Entertainment performances
- Scholarly presentations
For the video walls to display the right content at the right time, the content needs to be uploaded and organized in the right sequence. For live presentations, the display screen would have to be plugged into the live camera feed. Both of these functions are manageable with the aid of a digital display content management system. A CMS would also enable you to pause the running of content or transition from one set of content to the next.
How to Pick the Right Digital Signage Content Management System
Content Management Systems are not created equal. Like most kinds of computer software, a CMS is optimized based on how it will be applied. Consequently, if you are managing display screens for video wall advertising, you may require a slightly different CMS from that of a wayfinding display.
With that in mind, let us discuss some key factors to consider in order to choose the best content management system for your needs.
As you weigh your CMS options, take a moment to consider what type of content management functions you need. Aside from uploading and displaying content, do you need extra functions? What type of interactive experience are you looking to present to your customers or audience?
Some key CMS content management features worth investing in include:
- Real-time content uploads
- Organizing and content scheduling tools
- System notifications when display faults occur
Ease of Use and Flexibility
Using a content management system should lighten your workload and make it easier to manage your digital signage. Nevertheless, ease of use can vary from one person to another. This is why it is advisable to request a test run of a CMS before buying it.
Some key areas to evaluate during a test run include:
- How easy it is to navigate the features of the CMS
- How easy it is to upload content on the CMS
- Is it possible to organize and schedule content using the CMS? Are the organizing tools user-friendly?
- How easy it is to correct display errors using the CMS
Digital content display is constantly evolving and your setup may change over time as well. It would thus be a plus if your CMS is not only easy to use but also flexible. Find out if it allows you to increase the size of your signage network just in case you need to use more screens in the future.
Media Player Support
Your ideal CMS should be compatible with the type and quality of content you wish to display. The type of content refers to videos, images, or maps, and such digital content.
Quality, on the other hand, refers to issues such as video resolution and the format that your content would be uploaded in. A good CMS should not interfere with the display quality of the content you upload onto it. This is an essential consideration because your images and video need to be as clear as possible for your audiences to have a pleasant interactive experience.
When you install a CMS, it creates a network for all your digital signs. Whereas before each sign may have been independent, they will now all be tied to one central point; the CMS.
For best results, the integration of this network system needs to be seamless. The digital content software should be fully compatible with the display screens such that any commands you enter into the CMS are executed without delay. Issues like lags or some digital displays not being visible on your CMS dashboard can be a sign of poor system integration.
Digital displays relay information on behalf of your brand, business, or institution. Display errors can have dire and costly consequences. It is, therefore, critical that your content management system is reliable. It should:
- Execute the instructions you input on time and in the same exact sequence
- Maintain the digital content display sequence you set until you make changes
- Be safe and not easy for hackers and other third parties to interfere with
- Notify you if there are any glitches in the system
We have already established that content management needs vary based on the type of digital signage application. Due to this, it would be ideal for the layout of your CMS to be optimized for your application.
Let us take the example of airport digital displays. An ideal content management system should be optimized to update flight charts, boarding notifications, and such content. This could include flight chart templates and a navigation step to directly upload new flight information from the airport system to the CMS.
Credible CMS providers offer custom layouts on request. Be sure to inquire about the service to avoid ending up with a generic system that might be harder to use.
Cloud-based vs Desktop Download
A cloud-based or web-based CMS is hosted by your provider on a cloud and you can access it by logging in through any computer. It makes it easy to manage content on the go and troubleshoot even if you are not at your station.
A desktop download is installed on a specific computer at your control station. You can only access it through that one computer. This minimizes flexibility in terms of on-the-go access but can be safer especially when handling sensitive information like flight schedules or media house content.
Both of these options work great but the decision comes down to what you reckon would be best for your needs.
Why Should You Choose Digital Signage Content Management Systems From Rev Interactive
Rev Interactive is an experienced and innovative digital signage supplier in Malaysia. After years of designing and manufacturing digital displays, we advanced to developing content management systems. We harness our vast knowledge of the workings of digital displays to ensure that we offer you highly functional and user-friendly digital content management systems. This has seen us rise to be a favorite among many companies looking for digital signage systems in Malaysia.
Here are the superior advantages you can look forward to when you invest in Rev content management systems.
1. Customization Options
Are you worried you will get stuck with a rigid CMS designed for generic use? Don’t be. Rev CMS software is fully customizable to your needs and preferences. Our design developers are available to receive your requests and advise you on what customization options you can explore to achieve them.
2. On-demand Content Updates
In today’s highly digitized world, everything moves at warp speed. As a business, it is essential that you are able to update your displays as often and quickly as you need to. On-demand updates are even more important for institutions that rely on digital displays to relay important scheduling or instructional information.
Our CMS allows you to update content on-demand with no delays thanks to our seamless integration systems. Cloud-based CMS access further makes it easy to update your content no matter how near or far you are from your central control station. As long as your wifi systems are up and running, all updates occur in real-time and can be corrected just as fast if need be.
3. Reinforced Branding
Our content management systems allow you to add company logos and branded graphics to your content displays. As a result, customers do not just enjoy the content you present but they also get to identify your brand. They would subsequently have an easier time recognizing your products as they shop or recommending them to other potential buyers.
Content Management Systems from The Rev are user-friendly and consequently cost-effective. Here is why:
- Both small and large digital signage networks can be managed by one person as opposed to a whole unit of staff
- You receive real-time updates of any malfunctions to allow to handle any challenges as soon as possible
- Automated content management saves time and makes room for creativity in content display
- The Rev CMS options are affordable
5. Service and Support
Integrating and managing any type of software can present its fair share of challenges. We are, however, very invested in ensuring that you have a stress-free CMS user experience. This is why we provide consistent and reliable support to all our clients. Our team will help you resolve any challenges or queries you might have to keep your digital displays running flawlessly.
6. Increased Revenues
Automated content management can make your business more efficient and can improve your brand image. Both of these factors usually translate into higher bookings and sales for businesses thereby increasing their revenues. Top-quality content displays are also bound to attract new customers and further improve the financial outlook of your business.
Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Content Management Systems
Q: What Exactly is a Content Management System CMS?
A Content Management System (CMS) is a software that is used to manage the content displayed in digital display screens. It allows you to:
- Upload digital content
- Select the content to be displayed on your digital displays
- Add branding logos to digital content or create special display effects
- Identify digital displays that have malfunctioned
Q: How Do I Access My CMS?
This would depend on the type of CMS you invest in. A Rev web-based CMS is accessible by logging into your CMS dashboard through any computer with an internet connection. It is on-demand access no matter where you are. With a desktop download CMS, you can only access the CMS via the computer it was installed in. On-the-go access would be limited.
Q: Can I Create Custom Content Using a CMS?
Yes. A CMS allows you to edit the images or videos that you upload onto it by adding logos, creating display transitions, or adding dynamic display effects. This not only makes the content more lively but also customizes it to be unique to your brand.
Q: Can I Schedule Content Delivery?
Yes. Your CMS dashboard or control panel should have tools to help you schedule content to be displayed at set times.
Q: What Functionality Does a Digital Signage Display CMS Offer?
A digital signage display CMS offers you control over content management and the diagnostics of your digital signs. You can select, organize, and schedule the content to be showcased and also monitor if your digital signage network is running properly. Contact us to learn more about how Rev digital content management systems can elevate your business or institution to new heights